Australia’s sleepmakeswaves are a band that has always strived for independence with their music. The instrumental post rock band, based out of Sydney, has gone as far as releasing music for free in order to spread the word. In many ways, it paid dividends for them when the time came to release their first full-length ... "And So We Destroyed Everything" in 2011 and having the opportunity to tour different continents.
“As result of that we’ve kind of racked up some debts,” says Alex Wilson (bass and electronics) on the band’s decision to crowdfund their next album.
“We arrived at a financial position where we thought that ok, we’re faced with a choice here. We can scrimp and save for another two or three years in order to try and deliver a record of the quality that we want and that people have come to expect, or we can try this alternative method of doing things.”
After some research into campaigns that worked and ones that didn’t, sleepmakeswaves styled and planned out their campaign, which is hosted on Australian platform Pozible, and arrived at a figure of $25,000 AUS (roughly € 16,500), an admittedly hefty figure but one tasked at recording and capturing the band’s equally hefty and soaring sound, all the while the band has peppered the campaign with a slew of incentives for fans.
50K MUSIC: It's been a while since we've talked last time :-). How has the world been treating you since then?
Lee-Leet: Yes, time flies. We talked back in 2012 just before my European Tour that started in November and took a great deal of my time in between. There were other things along the way as well. Last summer I released a new single in Polish “Przestaję się bać” (“I Cease to Fear”) and produced a music video to go with the song. You can watch it on my You Tube Channel. It is a lighter and carefree song with a touch of thoughtfulness. The props in the video like the red dress, smoke, school gym, red sneakers, street pavement, and a sound proof claustrophobic cabin are meant to show two dimensions of internal experience: the troubled world of the imagination and the real, carefree world where the demons disappear. I hope I managed to get this message across :-). For me it was a very personal and an experimental video and I wanted to shoot it myself except for a few scenes outside where I asked my friend for help in operating the camera. See if you like it and make comments, please!
At the end of last year Swiss band The bianca Story rocked the boat with successfully crowd funding their upcoming album on wemakeit.ch. Last October Wolfgang talked to Moritz Gombert of Motor Music about the campaign. Now I asked the boss of Moritz, Motor founder Tim Renner, what this campaign means for the label and the future of music business ...
50K MUSIC: With your recently published book you tell stories and anecdotes about today's music business. What do you think musicians can learn from it?
Tim: The book can help musicians to understand the mechanisms behind the industry and enable them to go their own and independent path.
50K MUSIC: The bianca Story have successfully funded their upcoming album with their crowd funding campaign on wemakeit. Are you happy with the results of the campaign?
Tim: Absolutely – the band got over 90.000 Euros out of the campaign. To my knowledge this is the highest result of a swiss crowd funding ever and more money than any music project got this way in GSA ever.
It's been a while since we've heard of Alex Highton. He's back crowdfunding his upcoming album "Nobody Knows Anything" on Pledgemusic. There's still time to pledge by the way - 30 days strictly speaking. I talked to him about the album, the Pledgemusic campaign, new and old fans and a lot more ...
50K MUSIC: You're raising funds for your upcoming album "Nobody Knows Anything" on Pledgemusic at the moment. Why does it make sense for people to pledge?
Alex: Well I suppose it only makes sense for people to pledge if they like my songs! For me it means I get to make the record and send it out into the world. The less money I raise up front the less I can do with it when it's finished.
50K MUSIC: There are some familiar faces among the pledgers. Where does the current support come from - old or new fans?
Alex: I think a bit of both. I'm extremely lucky in that I have a small but dedicated bunch of people who have really supported me from the start. It's very humbling actually. I wouldn't be making records without them and I think they know that, so they do what they can. I'm just really grateful that they're willing to get behind me. They also spread the word, so I've had lots of new people get onboard with the project.
“I love you!” This is what most people say when they meet Dee Snider. But – what does it mean? Maybe “Twisted F*cking Sister” could help to answer this: The so called Iron Men of Rock’n’Roll are about to celebrate their 40th birthday. And – maybe as a kind of a gift – film maker Andrew Horn made a documentary about their first ten years of club life from the early Seventies to the early Eighties. I talked to Andrew about his soft spot for painted people, the fact that having no money but time can be good for making movies and how similar the band history is to his own story of making this film.
50K MUSIC: What did you know about Twisted Sister before you started the project? Did they mean anything to you?
Andy: My connection to Twisted Sister came from my previous film, “The Nomi Song” about the New Wave singer Klaus Nomi. Twisted weren’t really on my radar at all but I must have known enough about them to automatically think that the idea of Klaus Nomi opening for them was a recipe for a spectacular disaster. Which it was.
So I met Dee Snider and Jay Jay French while researching that story for the movie and Jay Jay then appeared in the film describing the wild scene that erupted when Nomi, a German operatic counter-tenor and performance artist, was booked to open for Twisted in a club in suburban New Jersey. After the film was completed, Jay Jay and I spent an afternoon together where he started filling my head with stories about Twisted’s own wild shows in the bars. Jay Jay’s description of what he called “bar band shtick”, which is the various ploys they used to engage their crowd in the bars, sounded to me like its own kind of performance art – just for a whole other type of crowd. And the kinds of things they would come up with, seemed to me to be pretty surreal. This sounded interesting and the more I followed up on it, the more I realized there was a real story there. And it was engaging on a human level, but sometimes it could get just as surreal as the atmosphere of the shows.
Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, and now NYC and Hudson, NY USA, The Duhks are releasing a new album. Juno Award winners and Grammy nominees The Duhks are working hard to bring new music your way with their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. I got a chance to ask the Duhks a few questions about the musical journey they are on. Then head over to Indiegogo, check them out and pledge away!
50K MUSIC MAG: ‘The Duhks’ have been an extremely successful band since 2001, has your perspective in the music industry changed your views on how music should be brought to the people?
The Duhks: I think we are in a fascinating time of transition for the music industry. While I think there are still a large number of people who prefer to have music delivered to them via mass media, there is a growing contingent who want to be involved in the process; who are interested in “how” a record is made, what life is like for musicians, what the creative process involves. They want wackiness, they want diversity, they want the musicians that they feel a connection with to have artistic freedom, and they want to be more deeply connected to those artists as well. I love this new model that is being shaped right now with the help of crowdfunding (a.k.a. crowd-fundraising) campaigns like the one we are doing with Indiegogo. Though it requires a much higher level of organization to execute than if you had a label and all the wonderful trappings that come along with it; distribution, radio, publicity, and of course funding. In the process of launching a project such as this, we are building the team and the process that is exactly right for us, not trying to fit ourselves into an existing mold.
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